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2 Mar 2021 | 6:06

The Sport for Development Coalition has partnered with Mind, the mental health charity, to help bolster the role of sport in tackling the wellbeing crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The collaboration will commence at the Coalition’s first online event of 2021, ‘Sport tackles the Wellbeing Crisis’, which will be streamed live on the Coalition website at 1600 GMT on Wednesday 10th March. 

Hayley Jarvis, Head of Physical Activity for Mind, will be our guest co-host alongside Ollie Dudfield, the Executive Director of the Coalition.


The online event, which is the first instalment of the Coalition’s new quarterly communications format for 2021, will examine how sport and activity can be used to improve mental health, wellbeing and resilience. 

It will be followed by the publication of a policy paper on the same theme, that draws on evidence gathered from across the sector. This will underpin a policy forum with key stakeholders and policy-makers in spring. 

More than one in four young people surveyed in the Prince’s Trust 2021 Youth Index said they had felt unable to cope with life since the start of the pandemic, increasing to 40% of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET). Half of 16 to 25-year-olds said their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic.

Mind partnership

‘Sport tackles the Wellbeing Crisis’ is part of the Coalition’s over-arching ‘Adapt, Support, Respond’ initiative which aims to support, evidence and advocate for sport and physical activity’s contribution to the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 45-minute live stream will feature other interventions from across the Coalition’s network of more than 160 charities and organisations, all intentionally using sport and/or physical activity to generate positive social outcomes. 

There will also be an opportunity to put your questions and comments to Hayley and Ollie in the preceding days. In the lead up to the event, Coalition supporters will be invited to discuss and share relevant evidence and key learning from their work supporting mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic.


The event will be relevant for organisations and individuals from across sport, physical activity and mental health and wellbeing sectors.

The stream will be made available to be replayed afterwards on Youtube, and will also be shared as the first episode of a new monthly podcast from the Coalition.

The online event represents an evolution of the Coalition’s popular ‘Twitter takeovers’, over the previous 18 months, which were aimed at bringing together sport for development organisations and discussing key themes, ranging from how sport and physical activity are being used to improve mental health, to reducing unemployment and entry into the justice system.

Mind image

For 2021, the Coalition will move to a quarterly format with a key policy issues examined each quarter.

This is aimed at creating greater engagement and building on the growing interest in the Coalition, with a 71% increase in organic impressions on Twitter between mid-November and mid-January (505.4k) compared to the preceding three months (296.1k). 

The quarterly format, which will be repeated throughout 2021 and into next year, has been created to support the Coalition’s core objectives of advocacy, impact and investment, and following extensive consultation with supporters of the movement, and key stakeholders across the sector.

Two other forthcoming Mind webinars for you to attend:

Exploring when physical activity becomes a problem, Thursday 4th March (1130-1230)

Mental health at work in sport and physical activity, Tuesday 30th March (1100-1230)

VIDEO APPEAL: The Sport and Recreation Alliance, Professional Players Federation and Mind would like to create a video to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Mental Health Charter (March 25th, 2021) and the work of signatories during a challenging 12 months. Find out more here and contribute.